La Moneda Palace

La Moneda Palace

[ Dec.2015 ] This is the photo of La Moneda Palace, the presidential palace in Santiago in Chile.

‘Moneda’ means coins and it used to be the mint.

This building was built by Joaquin Toesca, an Italian architect who also designed the cathedral.

It was completed in 1805.

This palace is deeply linked to the recent history of Chile.

The general Augusto Pinochet’s air force attacked here in 1973 to overthrow president Salvador Allende’s socialist government which was elected in the democratic election in 1970.

Allende rejected the offer from the military that they would let him escape abroad if he resigns and fought until the end at this palace and in the end, it is said that he killed himself with the pistol given to him by the then prime minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro.

There is the statue of Allende in the square in front of the palace.

They say that the opinions are still divided on Allende and Pinochet, but there is not a statue of Pinochet there.

I remember when Pinochet visited England.

He was a good friend of Margaret Thatcher.

Surprisingly he lived until the age of 91, evading fair judgement.